Monday, January 5, 2009

That Night

There were sixteen years between us,
three children, your wife, a whole life.
There were thirty kilos between us, a couple
of hundred thousand rand, not to mention the house.

All day we drove, through Pretoria, and then on
to Sun City to watch a blue movie. The Chinese porn
star had stretch marks on her hips.
And, then, on and on. We ate dinner at a
Mexican restaurant, and you said you’d drop me off
but there was just something you needed to get
from your rented cottage.

The night was like black dye, soaking us up.
You had car magazines in your lounge, and
copies of Getaway magazines by your bed.
You didn’t believe that I could be a virgin,
or that you could be my first.

The next morning stars exploded, the world had
changed, even though you still weren’t my first,
never would be.
I wondered if everyone knew about this secret, this thing.
I felt initiated, finally, even though, as I said,
you weren’t the first.

That night I drove. Three in the morning,
and in fifteen minutes, running stop streets,
I had brought us home.
The journey should have taken half an hour.
Exhilarated, gunning the engine,
flashing through the night.

Yet, years later,
when I’m almost the age you were, then,
all I feel is that sick thing,
that nausea, that slightly ill
bilious feeling, when I think of you,
that night.

Published in New Coin 44, number 2, December 2008

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